Buying a home in Oklahoma is a huge financial commitment that you should only make when you’re ready. While deciding to finally buy your dream home is exciting, you must follow the right plan because home buying is a long and complicated process.
To buy a home in Oklahoma, it’s vital to cover your bases and learn as much as you can. After all, you don’t want to be caught off guard because you didn’t do your homework.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Current Financial Situation
You should only consider buying a home when you’re financially stable and can afford all the costs. Besides saving your down payment, you must cover your closing costs and assume all your homeownership costs. To determine if you’re able to afford a home, you must consider other financial factors such as your credit score, financing options, and your savings.
When you apply for financing, your lender will take a look at your credit history, debts, and income. Before going house hunting, you should make sure all your financial affairs are in order. Consider taking a look at your monthly net income and pulling an annual credit report to obtain a better idea of where you stand.
Before submitting your application, you should research your options with several lenders. It’s important to make sure you meet the minimum home buying requirements such as income, credit score, enough savings for your down payment, and closing costs so you don’t end up wasting money or time.
Step 2: Find a Great Oklahoma Real Estate Agent
While searching for houses on your own can seem achievable, you should consider partnering with a great Oklahoma real estate agent. Generally, sellers pay all realtor fees so you’ll get support in your home buying journey without spending a dime. You should consider consulting one of our Clever Partner Agents if you want to obtain the best outcome when buying your Oklahoma home.
Our real estate agents are knowledgeable top performers in your market who can guide you every step of the way in your home buying process. If you choose a Clever Partner Agent, your realtor will take a full-service approach and explain everything about the process of buying a home.
The biggest advantage of working with a Partner Agent is that they’ll schedule on-demand showings for the listings you want to see. Don’t underestimate the importance of working with a local real estate agent and everything a realtor can do for you.
Step 3: Read Up on Local Real Estate Market Trends
Before going house hunting, you must learn as much as you can about your market. Believe it or not, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula that defines all housing markets. Every state, region, and even neighborhood works differently.
One of the biggest differences is when you should buy a home to get the best deal. If you want to get the best deal on your Oklahoma home, you should consider buying it during the months between December and April. While it may come at a heftier price, you should go house hunting between May and September if you want to have more listings to choose from.
However, you don’t have to time the market by yourself, a local realtor can give you an idea of when is the best time to buy a home in your market. Besides timing the market, you must also learn about the Oklahoma housing market trends before buying a home. According to data from Zillow, the median home value in this market is $123,700 while the median listing price is $188,210.
During the last year, this market appreciated about 4.4% in value, and experts forecast a 2.5% rise in value within the next year. Stable appreciation rates make it ideal for buyers who want to protect their investment.
However, the Oklahoma housing market is leaning toward the seller’s side right now, making it tough for buyers to find the right home at the best price. A local real estate agent can help you time the market so you can buy your home when it’s a buyer’s market to obtain the best deal.
Step 4: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Before going house hunting, you should get a pre-approval from your lender. You may think it’s the same thing as pre-qualification but that’s not true. During a pre-qualification, a lender won’t dig into your finances themselves, therefore, a pre-qualification will only provide an idea of your potential approval.
When you request a pre-approval, your lender will do a hard check on your credit, take a look at your financials, income, among other financial factors. After reviewing your finances, the lender will extend an approval on your mortgage for a set loan amount. This information will allow you to adjust your budget to fit your finances. While it may seem like a hassle, getting a pre-approval will prevent issues in the long run.
Step 5: Start House Hunting
After getting all your ducks in a row, it’s time to start house hunting. We recommend you narrow down your priorities and needs to find your dream house faster.
Do you want a large backyard? Are you looking for a great school district for your children?
These questions can help you narrow down your potential neighborhoods. Once you figure out where you want to buy your home, you should use tools such as Zillow Research to learn more about the cities, neighborhoods, and housing options.
If you searched on Zillow, you would learn that the median listing price in Edmonton is $297,908 while it’s $189,000 in Oklahoma City. Depending on your budget, these differences in prices could mean the difference between financial stability and crushing debt.
During this process, you should also define a budget for your home purchase. Don’t forget to consider your homeownership costs when setting your budget.
Partnering with a realtor can provide huge benefits when you are house hunting. A real estate agent can help you find the best budget-friendly properties that fit your house hunting checklist.
Step 6: Make an Offer
After finding the right home, it’s time to place an offer. You may think it’s as easy as calling the seller but you need to draft an offer letter that defines the terms and conditions of your offer.
Duration of the offer, the expected closing date, terms of payment, and the amount offered are some of the terms included in the offer letter. It’s important to describe the details to prevent any liability or surprises in the long run. After all, this offer will turn into a binding contract between you and the seller.
Once the seller receives the offer letter, they can accept, counter, or let it expire. You should consider hiring a realtor to help you draft a competitive offer.
A local real estate agent can provide insight into what terms to include to make the seller sway your way. Remember that the key to making an offer is drafting it in a manner so it’s a good deal for both parties in the transaction.
Step 7: Inspections and Negotiations
Believe it or not, your offer is not set in stone. Before you close on your house, a home inspector must verify the condition of the house. The expert will check the condition of the roof, the foundation, if the walls contain lead, and other tests required by Oklahoma law.
If the home inspection report mandates certain repairs or discloses house defects, you will negotiate with the seller. Based on the home inspection results, you can extend a counter offer, ask the seller to make the repairs, or request a repair stipend.
If the seller doesn’t agree to any of your requests, you can choose to buy another property without any penalty. After finding your dream home, you shouldn’t let a home inspection report get in the way. You can prevent this situation by partnering with a realtor.
Real estate agents are master negotiators who know how to handle home inspection negotiations. While home inspections protect buyers, these reports can put a halt in your home buying process if you don’t play your cards right.
Step 8: It’s Closing Time!
After all negotiations and inspections are done, it’s time to sign on the dotted line. Your lender will ask you to bring a cashier’s check with your down payment and closing costs.
According to Bankrate data, the average closing costs in Oklahoma are around $1,847. However, this study didn’t take into consideration fluctuating costs such as transfer taxes, property taxes, mortgage fees, among other costs. Typically, buyers pay about 3% in closing costs.
Let’s say you choose to buy a house valued at Oklahoma’s median listing price of $188,210. You should expect to pay around $5,646 in closing costs. However, you should keep in mind these numbers may vary depending on your market, property, and other variable costs.
If you choose to consult a Clever Partner Agent, you can obtain a better idea of your potential closing costs. Based on your agent’s experience, they can provide an estimate of your home buying costs and everything you must know before closing on your home. Consider consulting a local Partner Agent to obtain a complete picture so you won’t be blindsided in your home buying journey.